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Home Maintenance Matchmaker: How to Find a Stud

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Jessica
12.02.14

Don’t log in to your Match.com profile just yet – we’re not talking about that kind of stud! When you’re hanging a framed photo or mirror, it’s important to find a wall stud before you grab your nail and hammer. A wall stud is the vertical support beam behind your drywall. If you skip the stud-finding, your wall decoration won’t be nearly as secure, and it could fall off of the wall – leaving you with a big, ugly hole to fix!

The reliable way to find a stud is by using a stud finder tool – a basic model costs about $10-$20 at your local hardware store. If you don’t have one, don’t give up hope just yet. Try this easy stud-finding trick!

You’ll need: painter’s tape, one strong refrigerator magnet (a one-inch diameter is perfect), scissors, pencil, ruler (optional)

1. Cut a six-inch strip of the painter’s tape.

2. Place your magnet in the center of the painter’s tape.

3. Fold the tape over the magnet onto itself. It should form a small sling with the magnet at one end. Make sure there is enough tape on the magnet-free end – you need to be able to comfortably grip the tape.

4. Move your magnet-stud-finder along the wall. Studs are wood, but the nails holding the drywall into the studs are metal! When you drag it over the stud, the magnet will stick to the wall!

5. Mark where the magnet stopped with a pencil and you’re done! You’re ready to hang your wall art.

6. If you want to find multiple studs, measure 16” to the left or right of where your magnet sticks. Studs are typically located 16” apart in a home with 8-foot ceilings.

Tip: If magnets and tape seem like too much effort, or this doesn’t work for you, just look for a wall outlet. Studs will generally be vertically aligned with the outlet. Think of it as the fast-game version of finding a stud.

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